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The Parting of the Ways

- Chapter 36

"Time is short, and unless the few of us who know the truth stand united, there is no hope for any of us."
-- Albus Dumbledore

GF36: The Parting of the Ways

Harry tells his story to Albus Dumbledore and Sirius Black, then is turned over to Madam Pomfrey. Meanwhile, Cornelius Fudge allows a Dementor to administer the Kiss to Barty Crouch Jr. Fudge argues with Dumbledore about what has happened, refusing to believe Lord Voldemort is back, refusing to take measures against him. Dumbledore dispatches those loyal to him on various errands.

Calendar and Dates

This chapter takes place immediately after end of the preceding chapter.

Interesting facts and notes

For a fleeting instant, Harry thought he saw a gleam of something like triumph in Dumbledore’s eyes.

Lord Voldemort using Harry's blood in his re-birth ritual must mean more than just that Harry has lost the "protection" he received when his mother died. We don't find out until the last book what this will mean.

"So what happens when a wand meets its brother?" 
"They will not work properly against each other," said Dumbledore. "If, however, the owners of the wands force the wands to do battle … a very rare effect will take place.... One of the wands will force the other to regurgitate spells it has performed – in reverse. The most recent first … and then those which preceded it …"

It is interesting that, although Albus Dumbledore says that a dead figure emerging from the wand is only a "shadow" who retains the "appearance and character" of the wand's victim, these shadows have enough magical ability to help Harry in his fight against Voldemort.

Ghosts of Cedric Diggory, Lily and James Potter.

"You are to alert Remus Lupin, Arabella Figg, Mundungus Fletcher - the old crowd."

The "Arabella Figg" who is mentioned above is of course none other than Mrs. Figg, Harry's cat-obsessed neighbour on Privet Drive.

The mention of Mundungus Fletcher as part of the "old crowd" suggests that he was part of the Order of the Phoenix in the last war, but Moody does not mention him in his reminiscences about the photograph of the old Order (OP9).

Mrs Weasley set the potion down on the bedside cabinet, bent down, and put her arms around Harry. He had no memory of ever being hugged like this, as though by a mother. The full weight of everything he had seen that night seemed to fall in upon him as Mrs Weasley held him to her. His mother’s face, his father’s voice, the sight of Cedric, dead on the ground, all started spinning in his head until he could hardly bear it, until he was screwing up his face against the howl of misery fighting to get out of him.

Molly does exactly the right thing. It is what Harry needs right now.

Exceptional character moments

Fudge, refusing to believe that Voldemort had returned because he preferred to choose the course of action that was easy rather than that which was right

Severus Snape and Sirius Black very reluctantly shaking hands and Dumbledore's frustration at their attitudes

Molly Weasley giving Harry the kind of motherly hug that he doesn't ever remember having felt before

Memorable lines

"If I thought I could help you," Dumbledore said gently, "by putting you into an enchanted sleep, and allowing you to postpone the moment when you would have to think about what has happened tonight, I would do it. But I know better. Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it."

"He said my blood would make him stronger than if he’d used someone else's," Harry told Dumbledore. "He said the protection my – my mother left in me – he'd have it, too. And he was right – he could touch me without hurting himself, he touched my face."
For a fleeting instant, Harry thought he saw a gleam of something like triumph in Dumbledore’s eyes.

"Harry's wand and Voldemort's wand share cores. Each of them contains a feather from the tail of the same phoenix. This phoenix, in fact...."

"You are blinded," said Dumbledore, his voice rising now, the aura of power around him palpable, his eyes blazing once more, "by the love of the office you hold, Cornelius! You place too much importance, and you always have done, on the so-called purity of blood! You fail to recognise that it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be!"

GF 36 — The Parting of the Ways
Abbreviation GF36: The Parting of the Ways
Canonicity Primary Canon


Related images:

Harry asleep in the hospital ward.  The painting shows Dumbledore's office, with Dumbledore and Harry. MInister for Magic Cornelius Fudge. Ghosts of Cedric Diggory, Lily and James Potter.  

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The Harry Potter Canon